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Re: (TFT) First attacks in HTH

I agree with your HTH thoughts, but I still have more questions!
  One thing I find very strange is that running around behind someone to attack them with a melee weapon would give the defender a chance to turn around (assuming they had not moved yet) and even switch to the Defend option. But, if you run around behind them for HTH then they can't turn around and defend? Makes little sense...
  AM does say that attempting HTH combat requires moving half MA or less. It also says that if the attacker is not engaged then moving into HTH is a regular move. And, it also says that initiating HTH is considered an attack. So, a couple questions remain unanswered.
  1) Do the restrictions for HTH apply when the attacker is engaged and shifting into HTH? I.E. can you only shift into HTH if (a) enemy's back is against wall, or is kneeling or prone, or (b) enemy has lower MA, or (c) attacker comes from rear, or (d) defender agrees to HTH?
  2) If initiating HTH is an attack, how can it happen during the movement phase?
  I am wondering if it wouldn't make more sense to say that initiating HTH always happens at adj DX order, after the movement phase is over, and that you can't even initiate HTH (by shifting) unless one of the conditions (a) - (d) above is met? But this does not quite seem to fit the spirit of Basic or Advanced Melee rules since the rules clearly say that you can move into HTH during the movement phase.
  So, perhaps it would be better to say that you must always stop in an adjacent hex (rear, side or front) before moving into HTH, and then HTH happens in the attack phase. If the defender has already moved then they won't be able to turn around to face you, if they haven't moved yet then they would be able to.

Peter von Kleinsmid <pvk@oz.net> wrote:
  At 01:57 PM 11/23/06 -0800, Lloyd wrote:
>This sounds very reasonable to me. So, shifting into HTH is an attack that 
>occurs in adjDX order; e.g. the attacker does not get to also strike in 
>the same turn. But if the defender has not done an action yet he would be 
>able to strike in HTH that turn?

Yes, that's my interpretation of Advanced Melee (AM) exactly.

There are some grey areas with HTH subject to interpretation, but I don't 
think a HTH losing his action is one of them.

The grey areas with HTH:

* At least one printing of Melee (but I don't see that AM says so anywhere) 
say that the attacker also gets to attack on the turn he initiates HTH, if 
he succeeds on entering HTH. I could see ruling either way, though of 
course it should be agreed before playing if possible.

> Or do I have it wrong about attempting HTH being an attack...? Since it 
> is also supposed to be possible to move into HTH (given higher MA, back 
> to wall, etc...) then I guess both figures would get to strike in HTH 
> that turn.

* I think moving into HTH during the movement phase is a grey area, for AM. 
It would be more simple and streamlined (and reasonable, I think) to 
interpret AM as saying HTH initiation is always an action and never done 
during movement. It also seems fairer to figures who don't want to get 
forced into HTH.
However, though I don't have my older printing of plain Melee handy, 
the one at hand ("Revised Editon by Guy McLimore and Howard Thompson" in 
PDF from the web) does explicitly say that there are two ways to initiate 
HTH: "A Disengaged figure picks option (a) to initiate HTH combat, moving 
onto the enemy's hex during movement and attacking during combat. An 
Engaged figure picks action (k), entering the enemy's hex AND attacking 
during combat." And I do seem to remember we played that way, at least 
HOWEVER, it's important to remember that both AM and Melee also 
clearly say that a figure must stop when entering an enemy Front hex, so if 
someone tries to enter HTH combat during Movement, they can only attempt to 
do so via a Side or Rear hex. Also, if a figure is stopped during movement 
by a Front hex, they won't be able to attempt HTH that turn unless they 
moved half or less their MA to get there, because otherwise they get no 
attack option.

* Since both AM and Melee say HTH initiation is an attack, one might also 
rule that initiating HTH from the side or rear also requires the attacker 
to move less than half his MA. This would limit the weird-looking move of 
figures running all the way around someone to jump them from behind. I 
can't really imagine that working in real life unless the target was 
distracted into staying facing one direction (e.g., was engaged by someone 

* For conditions to initiate HTH, that "Revised" printing of plain Melee 
also says "side or rear" rather than AM's "from the rear".

* AM also says (or strongly implies) that an engaged attacker is limited to 
attempt HTH against one of the figures who is engaging him. Since entering 
HTH is an attack, and attacks can only be done against targets in Front 
hexes, I'd say the reverse is also true: HTH can only be attempted on 
someone in a Front hex.

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